Last Night, Or How to Derail a Bedtime
If your friend is bartending, you obviously go to her bar, even if it's past 11 on a school night - oops, work night - and even if your bed, inflatable mattress thought it may be, is looking mighty cozy. You obviously go to this bar, especially if has a name like The Duck, and especially if it's in an up-and-coming if slightly scary neighborhood dotted by low-income projects and recent crime scenes. And you obviously bring your roommates, plus the friend of theirs that they picked up from a Sean John modeling audition, who are all a little bleary-eyed from drinking all day.
So this is how you find yourself at a hipster bar in Bushwick with three male models. And after you introduce everyone to your bartender friend and her roommate, who's playing it coy in front of shag-worthy specimens, you obviously play board games. Connect Four to start, followed by a little Trivial Pursuit, which, when you think about the context, has a pretty accurate title. And, as the slim acute angle formed by the hands of the clock grows wider, you shimmy out of the bar, toward home. You also, of course, decide to spare your readers the continued use of the second person.
This is where it gets interesting. Since Sterling told Brad about the mugging he saw at 4am last Saturday/Sunday, an acute paranoia has affixed itself to Brad's psyche. You might think there'd be no one safer than a six-foot-five-inch former NCAA Division I water polo player. You might think that, I might think that, but Brad just can't convince himself. Which is why, after Brad agrees to walk his friend to the subway, and Sterling and I drop Shira at her front door, we decide to call Brad and, in as frightened tones as possible, warn him about the menacing group of scary young black kids we just saw headed his way.
So this is where 6'5" Brad, I shit you not, actually refuses to let his Brazilian model friend take the subway home to the Upper West Side, and makes him walk Brad home. We're still on the phone with him and tell Brad not to take a certain street - that's the street the youths are on! - and divert him to another street, one with many hiding places. When he catches a glimpse of us, crouched behind a car, he finally starts to suspect something, but is still unsure enough that he crosses the street. He calls out hopefully: "Come oooooon, guuuyys." His voice quivers a little. By the time we've all reached the apartment, Brad has convinced his friend to sleep over, primarily so that there's no chance of him going back out into the night.
Strangely, the story isn't over. Background: Sterling is impetuous; Brad and I collected a free Craigslist couch on Wednesday, but couldn't manage it up the stairs; the only other way of ingress is through our third-floor balcony sliding-glass window. Sterling proposes an idea: with four sets of muscles and a sadly unused coil of rope lying about, why not give it a shot now, at 2 in the morning and two or three drinks deep?
Five minutes later, we have the couch standing on one end, a shabby fiber rope slung around the other, and, best of all, an audience, Craig, jingle-writer for a pharmaceutical company and next-door neighbor, who's come out to his own third-floor balcony to cheer us on. The three male models hoist the rope, defying all stereotypes by showing complete lack of concern for bodily injury or chafed hands. I scramble over the railing to guide the couch around the ledges below us. Craig hollers at me: "Spider-Man!"
Later, inside, with cups of Colt 45 in hand and Craig over for a visit, we pose - no, model - for a celebratory photo.